Saturday, September 11, 2010

AMA Flat Track Canterbury Park Mile Round 15 Happening Today


Riders and bikes make and get their final adjustments just before the final qualifying session at the Springfield Mile round 14 on Sunday, September 5th at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series is winding down to the last three events of the season, and the bombshell thrown out this week by the AMA Pro Flat Track team in suspending defending overall GN Champ Sammy Halbert #7 for this upcoming round threw a big wrench in the fight for the overall championship standings that surely will have major repurcussions throughout the rest of the series run this year in determining the final overall champion.
Shown in the shot above are four of the five men and teams involved in the top five of the overall standings. In the back you have former 3-Time Grand National Champion Jay Springsteen standing and talking next to Indy and Springfield winner Bryan Smith's #42 Werner/
Springsteen Monster Energy/Wossner Pistons/SuperTrapp/Millenium Technologies-backed Kawasaki. Smith sits in the 8th spot in the overall championship hunt with 164 points, and is out of the big hunt, but you obviously can't count him out today with what him and his team have done in winning the last two Twins events at Indy and Springfield on the biggest mile tracks on the schedule.
Next up is defending Twins Champ Jared Mees on his #1 Rogers Lake Racing/Blue Springs H-D/ Oil-backed XR as
he talks with his crew. Mees' run at Springfield to round out the podium was astounding, running with Smith and second-on-the-day Chris Carr up at the front all day. It left him at 4th in the overall standings with 228 points, tied with Slammin Sammy in points. With Halbert's suspension to be met at this round (barring any inclement weather rolling in today, of course), Mees sits in the catbird seat in the overall championship now only 24 points behind leader Joe Kopp and 2nd in the points man Jake Johnson. Mees always runs great on the mile tracks, so keep a very close eye on this young, but veteran charger. He could just be the man to upset the apple cart in the final three rounds beginning today.
Sitting on the #2 Screamin Eagle/Harley Davidson Motor Co/Arai/Fox-backed factory machine is former 3-Time Twins Champ Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. Just in front of the bike in the black shirt with the starter/battery box is The King of Cool's Father, Kenny Coolbeth, Sr. Kenny sits 6th in the overall championship standings with 207 points, and still has an outside shot at claiming the title, and with his 5th place at Springfield and 3rd at Indy in the last two Twins events as evidence that this veteran charger can never be counted out when the chips are down. And you never, ever discount factory horsepower, especially in the hands of someone as talented as this man. Of note, just over Ken, Sr.'s left shoulder is Bill Werner, who is mostly hidden in the shot, but never hidden when it comes to bringing a winning combination to the table.
On the #3 Latus H-D/Lloyd Bros/American Agip/MotoConcepts-backed Joe Kopp-ridden Ducati is one of the Lloyd Bros. techs holding Joe's steed at the ready. Kopp has been leading the overall standings now since late spring, and with 252 points looks to build his gap some more today with a good run at the Minnesota Mile track. One of the only
riders to ride at this track the last time the AMA was in Minnesota in '97, about the only advantage he may have after the grooming of the track this week may be in knowing where the restrooms are. The track is said to have been groomed differently then it was 13 years ago, making for an exciting and fast layout. But don't count Smokin Joe Kopp out, especially if him and the Lloyd Bros. team figure out how to put the HP down on the ground to keep the rear from spinning it up. Even though he has lost 8 points in the last few events, leading is still better then trailing in the points and trying to play catch up. Especially if one rider has a better day then another. Just sayin....
Jake Johnson on the #5 Zanotti Racing/Schaeffers H-D/SuperTrapp/
NJK Leathers-backed XR sits back and eyes the rest of the competition, just as he has been doing all season. Sitting in the 2nd spot in the overall standings with 242 points, and just 10 back from Smokin Joe, Jersey Jake has the best chance in this person's eyes of adding to his 2-Time Singles Championships with the three events remaining. You can never count Jake OR Zanotti out of the picture, and as a team they are as strong as ever. Jake came off the back row at Springfield (having to start there due to a crash in the Dash that forced him to his back-up bike) and made it to the front group and finished 6th on the day, but only .265 seconds back from winner Smith. And with his mastery of the mile, he's sure to be there today and for the final two events after today's Canterbury Park event. For sure don't overlook the Daytona Short Track round 2 winner today or for the other remaining events. And to pique some memories for you other old-timers like myself, Zanotti Racing is the team that took former Rookie of the Year, the late Steve Eklund, to the 1979 Grand National Championship. That is a force that needs to be watched closely regardless of how you throw your dice.
And wrapping up our preview today for the Canterbury Park event is Willy Halbert, father of defending #7 overall champion Sammy Halbert with his Kings Kustoms/KK Motorcycle Supply/Nelson Racing/AGV-sponsored XR. Unfortunately, Willy won't be as busy today in that he will only have brother Jethro's #69 mount to look after today due to the suspension of Slammin Sammy at this round as handed out earlier in the week for what was considered rough riding in the Springfield Short Track semi race last Saturday night.
Per AMA Pro Flat Track Manager Mike Kidd, Sammy had been warned before and was already on probation since the May Springfield round, and due to what was considered a sketchy move by Sammy in that race, MK was forced to sit him out a round to try and help him get back in line. Lying in 3rd in the overall points with 228 (but having the tie breaker over Mees in having won the season opening round at Daytona), the suspension will surely drop him out of the championship fight.
Rounding out the top 5 in the overall championship standings, but not pictured, is 2-Time Singles Champion Henry Wiles, with 224 points. I've been saying all season when this charger gets his Twins program in line with his Singles program, the rest better watch out. He could very well do that with these three rounds remaining, and regardless, you never count out a champion!
You can follow all the action today online whether you are at the track or at home as the AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series comes back to the Canterbury Park Mile in Shakopee, MN., for round 15 of the series.

After a 13 year break, AMA Pro Flat Track returns to the Minnesota Mile horse track and all bets are off once the final events on the day are flagged off. With only three events left in the 2010 season, it's time to talk or shut the h..l up as the best riders in the world, racing in the best motorcycle racing series in the world, go WFO on the mile track today.

Catch all the action here today as The Rolling Thunder Show kicks off with practice at 2:30 EDT today leading up to the run for the championship in the greatest show on wheels.


The local ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, Eyewitness News Channel 5, had reporters on hand yesterday as Henry Wiles on his #17 Atkins Bros/KK Motorcycle Supply/Don Kissinger Racing-backed XR, along with Minnesota's own Mataya Brothers, ran a few demo laps for the sports report as filed and shown on their local network. Great job in getting the local news to make mention of this great event. Check it out here:

AMA Pro Flat Track Canterbury Park Event Live Timing and Scoring:

AMA Pro Flat Track Main page:
AMA Pro Flat Track Canterbury Park event page with schedule times and entry lists:
AMA Pro Flat Track Canterbury Park Round 15 PDF individual race and series results:

Canterbury Park official site from Shakopee, MN.:
Canterbury Park schedule and local info: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shakopee, MN. local weather courtesy of The Weather Underground:
Where IS Canterbury Park located in Shakopee, MN., and how do I find it? By clicking right here thanks to Google Maps:,+Shakopee,+MN+55379&sll=39.823346,-86.33043&sspn=0.007894,0.019205&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1100+Canterbury+Rd+S,+Shakopee,+Scott,+Minnesota+55379&ll=44.790028,-93.484812&spn=0.014589,0.038409&t=h&z=15
Local promotional poster put out by the promoters of the AMA Pro Flat Track Canterbury Park Mile round 15 in Shakopee, MN.:

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